Although the school year was rapidly winding down, when the students at Hamden Hall Country Day school in Hamden, CT USA saw pictures of the devastation and suffering in Nepal, they felt they had to do something.
8th graders Aya Wazaz and Shaw Mettler met with English teacher and student of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Paul Gustafson, to plan a slide show and talk for the middle school. This talk was “amazing,” according to the head of the Middle School, Brian Christman, and “ it inspired students to get involved.” The girls then organized a walk-a-thon where students received pledges from friends and family for each mile that they walked. On a sunny day at the end of May, about sixty enthusiastic middle school students laced up their sneakers and took to the cross country course. Some were so pumped, they ran. “I was impressed with the energy and caring these students demonstrated for the people of Nepal,” said Paul Gustafson. “Shaw and Aya, in particular, took it upon themselves to educate their classmates about a tragedy in a country few had ever heard of. They then mobilized support and organized an event that everyone enjoyed.”
In the Upper School, the school’s Amnesty International chapter organized a “dress down day” fundraiser. For a $3 donation, students could take a break from the dress code for the day. Not surprisingly, nearly every student in the high school participated! “Many students gave much more than the suggested $3 donation,” said Paul Gustafson. “On a number of occasions, kids stopped me in the hall and told me with great sincerity that they wished that they could do more. A group of students even asked me if I’d be willing to organize a trip to Nepal so that could work directly with people to help them to rebuild their homes.”
A huge ‘thank’ you to all the students and staff that took part in these great events. Your thoughtfulness, caring and compassion are an inspiration – and we would be delighted to welcome you any time you care to visit!